It can be overwhelming. There is so much about bike repair and bike maintenance that I don’t know yet and I find myself constantly playing catch up, trying to learn what I need to know to keep my bikes in good condition.
Sometimes, I look at one of my bikes and think,
“I have no clue how this thing actually works, what am I even doing riding it anywhere?”
I guess learning it all doesn’t happen overnight. The good thing is I am making progress, albeit slower progress than my bikes surely hope for.
Last week, my mountain bike started squeaking with every pedal stroke. I figured the chain needed a good cleaning, so that day when I got home from work I scrubbed everything down. In the morning, I applied a fresh layer of lube and called it good.
It wasn’t good. The squeaking continued. Is there anything worse then riding a madly squeaking bike?
This time when I got home, I looked at each moving part to determine what could possibly be causing my ears such pain. The culprit turned out to be the innocent looking guide pulley.
Yesterday I got out my set of Allen keys and confidently loosened the bolt which held the pulley in place. (Guide pulleys can sense fear so my use of the term “confidently” is a cover-up of my actual emotional state.)
Since I was already tinkering around with the derailleur, I took the other pulley out as well.
After cleaning each part, I lubed the pulleys and tightened them back into their respective places. And for bonus points I figured out why I have been having trouble with my rear brakes; one of the pads was up too high and was brushing the tire.
I felt like a champ. I had diagnosed the problem and solved it.
Did the process take a few hours?
Was I laughably clumsy the entire time?
Did I put the chain around the pulleys incorrectly the first couple of tries?
But everything is back in place and working fine. And best of all, I did it all by myself.